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ManPHree: Derek tells us about his ShamPHree life.

7U6A7961Sometimes, a real gem of a man shows up to work at the front desk of your Salon. And when that happens, and when he sticks around for years, and brings smiles to peoples faces, and thoughtfully runs shit, holds down the fort with calm and finesse, and your clients ask you constantly if he is single ( Sorry ladies, this silver sparkled fox is happily married to one lovely Audrey)……..let’s take a minute to appreciate the gem-ly men out there.

Derek was an enthusiastic supporter of ShamPHree from the beginning. He offered great advice and feedback through the process of developing the kit, and was one of the first humans to receive a kit.


He is on the front lines at Vain, the downtown Seattle salon that we work at. He sets the pace with his savvy customer service skills and his fix-it mentality. His general style is classy/casual, hip and professional. His hair is very well groomed and precisely cut into what I call a dapper-man do, ( Here is a great styling tutorial from another gem of a dapper man.)

Today, Derek tells us about his ShamPHree journey.

Interview with a PHree Man.


  What do you call yourself? Personal branding statement? ( super-human, undercover brother, mr. fix it?  Something corny? you can get creative or not:)
I don’t really have a name for myself outside of simply “Derek;” I’m always open to a nickname; but prefer that to happen organically and sort of wear many nicknames as badges of honor, bestowed upon me by various people in my life. There’s anything from “Markland,” my last name, to “D-Mark,” to “D” to “D-Tek” (commonly used at the front desk because of a simple typo of Derek to Detek). I’ve been called Darryl, Darren, Eric, Aaron, and a multitude of variations upon similar phonemes; but ultimately, I’ve never had a nickname stick that I’ve carried through life.  If I had to brand myself or think of a term that best somes me up, I’d say I’m a functional workaholic.

 When did you start your ShamPHree journey?

I started my ShamPHree journey about two or three months ago; but gained interest in it probably six or seven months ago; and simply didn’t take the initiative to pick up the various odds and ends needed until they were gathered in one box and offered as a complete ShamPHree kit.

What inspired your switch?

I think there’s a multitude of things that inspired my switch; I feel like there’s been a new awakening in communities across the country–either geographical communities, or the broader sense of collections of like-minded individuals as communities–that have focused on a back-to-basics approach to living more simply. Whether you look at foodies focusing on eating organic, local, vegetarian, vegan, or some combination of all three; or the rise of indie-game developers and the advent crowd-funding sites; or the general desire of people looking for more environmentally friendly products and business–you get the sense that people are paying attention more than they used to. I know I may simply be speaking for myself, but I feel like it’s really the case. What I’m also noticing is that these communities are beginning to overlap, and be aligning your thinking with one tribe or another, you will start to see just how much in common two disparate groups have.

For me, it started with food. I’m definitely not a snob when it comes to food; I’ll eat almost anything, but what I try to avoid is highly processed foods. The list of chemicals can be overwhelming. When eating pre-packaged foods I try my best to make sure it’s seven or less ingredients and I know what each of them are and can pronounce them. I cook a lot at home and like to make my food from scratch. I’ve really been getting in to homebrewing beer as well over the past couple of years. When I found out about ShamPHree, it really aligned with my ideas about food. If I’m trying to avoid needless chemicals in my body, I should try to avoid needless chemicals ON my body. I say needless, because I recognize that many chemicals are harmless or even helpful and necessary. I try to avoid nagging on chemicals negatively as a buzzword, so “needless” to me simply means chemicals added for a purpose outside of what is necessary; like sodium laurel sulphate in shampoo to add lather (even though your hair would still be clean without it). So as your start stripping away all of the needless chemicals, you eventually get down to the basics. When I read on the HTHG blog about the ShamPHree method, I was sold; but at the same time needed a little hand-holding to get me to make the plunge.

Did you have an adjustment period before you were sold on it? If so, how long and what was it like?

I could tell right away that ShamPHree was a good fit for me. I like the routine associated with mixing the ingredients. I like that there’s no “prescribed” way to do it; that it’s a little bit of jazz chemistry. It reminds me a lot of cooking; I typically look at a recipe or two, get an idea of what the goal is, and then make it my own without looking back. Reading the instructions in the ShamPHree kit got me started, and I got to experiment and make it my own. My hair took an immediate liking to it, my hair has never felt so clean, and my scalp has never felt so healthy.
 What changes have you seen in your hair/scalp that you like since going ShamPHree?

I’ve really noticed that my hair wants to curl and wave more than it used to. I like to think that my hair is actually waving, saying “hello, it’s good to be PHree!” I didn’t expect my scalp to change at all, but it hasn’t been itchy at all, and I’ve always had a slightly itchy scalp that was often exacerbated by certain products. ShamPHree has helped to clear up the dandruff I would get from time to time; which I’m sure went hand in hand with the itchiness.
Have their been any surprises?

The biggest surprise for me really goes back to having a healthy feeling scalp with minimal dandruff; I just didn’t expect anything to fix it. It was never a bad enough problem to see a dermatoligist, but OTC solutions like Head & Shoulders had not worked for me in the past and I had resigned myself to just sort of shrugging it off as a fact of life that my head will itch from time to time and that I’ll have minor dandruff. It’s weird, because I’d stopped caring about it, but was super excited when I noticed the change.

Ladies? Are you listening? Tell your dudes, if they have any scalp issues…..Go ShamPHree!

What would you tell a friend who was on the fence about going Shamphree?

I’ve recommended it to a few people; my wife, sadly wasn’t a fan. Her hair tends to get dry really easily, and she felt that it made it worse; but I’ve also told coworkers about it and a few friends and they’ve given it a try. I think it definitely needs to be the right person to be able to nudge them into giving it a try; but to some people it’s just something that’s not even on their radar… yet. I’ve been proselytizing to anyone who will listen, and one of the most common questions I get is, “Why would you put THAT on your head?” In true Socratic fashion, I respond with a question, “Why would you put a litany of other chemicals on your head?” I think one of the great things about marketing something that can easily be acquired at the store is that it legitimizes the practice to people who would otherwise be skeptics or cynics.

Has your experience with going ShamPHree inspired any other positive changes in your self-care routine/ life in general?


I’m a pretty low-maintenance guy. But I’ve actually felt more motivated to style my hair over the last few months than I ever have in the past. I think it’s partly based on me being more aware of modern styles and trying to keep up with my haircuts, instead of falling into my regular routine of cutting it short and then growing it out for 6 months and then cutting short again. For the first time in years I’ve been experimenting with keeping my hair about the same length, and making minor tweaks to my cut until I find the right balance. That, combined with my hair’s renewed wavy texture, has sort of forced me into having to tame my hair a little more when styling it. I think by taking my hair’s cleaning and conditioning into my own hands and controlling the proportions of baking soda and ACV that it’s helped me to feel empowered over other aspects of my hair. It’s all been part and parcel to an enlightenment about my own hair that prior to this has seemed like a mystery that I couldn’t solve.

Anything you want to add about ShamPHree, hair, life in general?

I’m just really happy to see HTHG get ShamPHree off the ground. Without the kit; I probably would never have made the effort to collect the necessary things to do this on  my own.


Thanks Derek. Keep on shinin like a diamond. #freeyourhair


xoxo, HTHG


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